A weather system packing high winds and damaging gusts exceeding 45 mph will blow into Maine on Monday morning, riding in on the heels of another storm that dumped a wintry mix of snow, sleet and rain over most of the state Sunday.

The National Weather Service office in Gray issued a wind advisory Sunday afternoon for the Portland area that will remain in effect from 7 a.m. through 10 p.m. Monday. A wind advisory means that there could be sustained winds of 30 to 39 mph during the day.

The weather service is predicting that Portland will see wind gusts of up to 55 mph. Power outages are possible, forecasters warned, because gusts that reach 55 mph have the potential to knock down trees, tree branches and power lines.

Stacie Hanes, a meteorologist with the weather service, said the strong winds are part of a weather system that was expected to arrive late Sunday night before escalating during the day Monday. Hanes said power outages are likely.

Sunday’s storm started out in Portland as snow, but by the end of the day had changed over to rain. Many roads and streets in Greater Portland were covered with pools of water and slush. Despite the melting and mixing, Hanes said she had not received any reports of river or street flooding.

Sunday’s snowstorm, at least in the lower half of the state, did not turn out to be very memorable.

The weather service said that as of 5 p.m., Portland had reported 0.3 inches of snow; Gray got 1.5 inches; Peru, 1 inch; Waterville 0.1 inch; Farmington, 1.5 inches; and Buxton 2 inches.

Much higher snowfall amounts were anticipated in northern Maine, where the original forecast predicted 7 to 11 inches of new snow, and it was still snowing late Sunday.

Mark Bloomer, a meteorologist in the Caribou office of the weather service, said by the time the storm ends Monday morning, Caribou was expected to get 10 inches of snow, with the rest of northern Maine getting 8 to 10 inches.

High winds Monday are expected to produce whiteout conditions in some parts of northern Maine, including Aroostook County, Bloomer said.

Hanes said the state and power companies are concerned about Monday’s windstorm because temperatures across Maine on Monday night are expected to drop to 10 degrees or lower, and power outages would create a dangerous situation for those without electricity.

Wind chill values in Caribou could reach 20 degrees below zero Tuesday and drop to 3 degrees below zero in Portland.

Central Maine Power said in a statement this weekend that it is aware of the impending high winds and assured customers that it will be closely monitoring Monday’s weather. CMP said it has contacted the Maine Emergency Management Agency as well as county and local emergency management officials to coordinate preparedness efforts.

More than 2,400 Emera Maine customers in Hancock County lost power Sunday, but their power had been restored by 6 p.m.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]


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